Product Roadmaps Relaunched

Book description

A good product roadmap is one of the most important and influential documents an organization can develop, publish, and continuously update. In fact, this one document can steer an entire organization when it comes to delivering on company strategy.

This practical guide teaches you how to create an effective product roadmap, and demonstrates how to use the roadmap to align stakeholders and prioritize ideas and requests. With it, you’ll learn to communicate how your products will make your customers and organization successful.

Whether you're a product manager, product owner, business analyst, program manager, project manager, scrum master, lead developer, designer, development manager, entrepreneur, or business owner, this book will show you how to:

  • Articulate an inspiring vision and goals for your product
  • Prioritize ruthlessly and scientifically
  • Protect against pursuing seemingly good ideas without evaluation and prioritization
  • Ensure alignment with stakeholders
  • Inspire loyalty and over­-delivery from your team
  • Get your sales team working with you instead of against you
  • Bring a user­ and buyer-­centric approach to planning and decision-making
  • Anticipate opportunities and stay ahead of the game
  • Publish a comprehensive roadmap without over­committing

Publisher resources

View/Submit Errata

Table of contents

  1. Praise for Product Roadmaps Relaunched
  2. Foreword
  3. Preface
    1. Dear Roadmap
    2. Who Is This Book For?
    3. How to Use This Book
    4. Why Listen to Us?
      1. C. Todd Lombardo
      2. Bruce McCarthy
      3. Evan Ryan
      4. Michael Connors
    5. Acknowledgments
  4. 1. Relaunching Roadmaps
    1. What Is a Product Roadmap?
    2. Key Terms and How We’re Using Them
      1. Product
      2. Stakeholder
      3. Customer
    3. Where Did Product Roadmaps Come From?
    4. Requirements for a Roadmap Relaunch
    5. A Roadmap Should Put the Organization’s Plans in a Strategic Context
    6. A Roadmap Should Focus on Delivering Value to Customers and the Organization
    7. A Roadmap Should Embrace Learning
    8. A Roadmap Should Rally the Organization Around a Single Set of Priorities
    9. A Roadmap Should Get Customers Excited About the Product Direction
    10. A Roadmap Should Not Make Promises a Team Cannot Deliver On
    11. A Roadmap Should Not Require Wasteful Up-Front Design and Estimation
    12. A Roadmap Should Not Be Conflated with a Release Plan or a Project Plan
    13. Summary
  5. 2. Components of a Roadmap
    1. Primary Components
      1. Product Vision
      2. Business Objectives
      3. Timeframes
      4. Themes
      5. Disclaimer
    2. Meet the Wombat Garden Hose Co.
    3. Developing the Wombat Roadmap
    4. Secondary Components
      1. Features and Solutions Show How You Intend to Deliver on Your Themes
      2. Stage of Development
      3. Confidence
      4. Target Customers
      5. Product Areas
    5. Secondary Components Added to the Roadmap
    6. Complementary Information
      1. Project Information
    7. Components in Context
    8. Components in Context
    9. Components in Context
    10. Components in Context
    11. Summary
  6. 3. Gathering Inputs
    1. Understand Where Your Product Is in Its Life Cycle
    2. New Product Phase
    3. Growth Phase
    4. Product Expansion Phase
    5. Harvesting Phase
    6. End-of-Life Phase
    7. Gathering Input from Your Market
      1. Understand Your Ecosystem
      2. Define the Problem and the Expected Outcome of the Solution
    8. Gathering Input from Your Customers
      1. Customer Roles
      2. User Types
      3. Users Versus Buyers
      4. Roles Versus Personas
    9. Gathering Input from Your Stakeholders
    10. Summary
  7. 4. Establishing the Why with Product Vision and Strategy
    1. Mission Defines Your Intent
    2. Vision Is the Outcome You Seek
    3. Values Are Beliefs and Ideals
    4. Product Vision: Why Your Product Exists
      1. Value Proposition Template
      2. Example for Our Wombat Hose
      3. Duality of Company and Customer Benefit
      4. Product Strategy: How You Achieve Your Vision
      5. Objectives and Key Results
      6. The 10 universal business objectives
      7. Key results (and metrics)
      8. Outcome Versus Output
      9. Timing
      10. Case Study: SpaceX
      11. Business Objectives
      12. Themes
      13. Key Results
    5. Summary
  8. 5. Uncovering Customer Needs Through Themes
    1. Expressing Customer Needs
    2. Themes and Subthemes
    3. Ways to Uncover Themes and Subthemes
      1. User Journeys and Experience Maps
      2. Existing Product Needs
      3. System Needs
      4. Opportunity-Solution Trees
    4. Using Job Stories and User Stories to Support Themes
      1. Themes Are About Outcomes, Not Outputs
    5. Relating Themes Back to Your Objectives
    6. Real-World Themes
      1. The High Cost of Space Travel
      2. Slack’s Theme-based Roadmap
      3.’s Gantt Chart with Benefits
    7. Summary
  9. 6. Deepening Your Roadmap
    1. Features and Solutions: How They Can Work with Themes
      1. When and Why Do Features Appear on the Roadmap?
      2. Where Do Features Appear on the Roadmap?
      3. Buffer’s feature-level roadmap
      4. Feature questions
    2. Using Stage of Development
      1. Stage of Development Questions
    3. Communicating Confidence
      1. Confidence Questions
    4. Identifying Target Customers
      1. Target Customers Questions
    5. Tagging Product Areas
      1. Product Areas Questions
    6. Secondary Components Summary
      1. Strive for Balance
    7. Summary
  10. 7. Prioritizing–with Science!
    1. Why Prioritization Is Crucial
      1. Opportunity Cost
      2. Shiny Object Syndrome
      3. Exponential Test Matrix Growth
      4. Features Versus Tests
    2. Bad (but Common) Ways to Prioritize
      1. Your, or someone else’s, gut
      2. Analyst opinions
      3. Popularity
      4. Sales requests
      5. Support requests
      6. Competitive me-too features
    3. Prioritization Frameworks
      1. Critical Path
      2. Kano
      3. Desirability, Feasibility, Viability
      4. ROI Scorecard
    4. A Formula for Prioritization
      1. A simple scorecard
      2. A more complex scorecard
      3. MoSCoW
    5. Tools Versus Decisions
    6. Dependencies, Resources, and Promises (Oh, My!)
    7. Prioritization Frameworks
    8. Summary
  11. 8. Achieving Alignment and Buy-in
    1. Alignment, Consensus, and Collaboration Walk into a Bar...
      1. Alignment
      2. Consensus
      3. Collaboration
    2. Shuttle Diplomacy
      1. Shuttle Diplomacy for Product People
      2. Why Does Shuttle Diplomacy Work?
      3. How to Engage in Shuttle Diplomacy
      4. Shuttle Diplomacy Canvas
      5. What’s Difficult About Shuttle Diplomacy?
    3. Meetings and Workshops
      1. Presenting Recommendations
      2. Co-creation Workshop
    4. Software Applications
    5. Summary
  12. 9. Presenting and Sharing Your Roadmap
    1. Why to Share Your Roadmap Internally
      1. Inspiration
      2. Alignment
      3. The IKEA Effect
    2. Why to Share Your Roadmap Externally
    3. The Risks of Sharing
      1. Overpromising and Underdelivering
      2. The Osborne Effect
      3. Competition
      4. Multiple Roadmaps? Not So Fast!
    4. Presenting the Roadmap to Stakeholders
    5. What the Development Team Needs in a Roadmap
      1. Secondary Components
      2. Complementary Information: Platform Considerations
      3. Complementary Information: Project Information
      4. Status
    6. What Sales and Marketing Need in a Roadmap
      1. Secondary Components
      2. Complementary Information: External Drivers
    7. What Executives Need in a Roadmap
      1. Complementary Information: Financial Information
    8. What Customers Need in a Roadmap
    9. The Roadmap Presentation
    10. Preparation
    11. Case Study:’s Roadmap Presentation
      1. Dropping Like a Lead Balloon
      2. CASE STUDY:’s Roadmap Presentation
    12. Summary
  13. 10. Keeping It Fresh
    1. Roadmap Evolution
    2. How Far Out Should Your Roadmap Go?
    3. Planned Change
      1. Change Frequency
    4. Unplanned Change
      1. When Features Are Late
    5. When to Compromise on Quality
      1. Special Requests
      2. External Pressures
      3. Changes in Strategy
    6. Communicating Change
      1. Why
      2. What and When
      3. Roadmap Changes
      4. Forks in the Road
    7. Lather, Rinse, Repeat
    8. Summary
  14. 11. Relaunching Roadmaps in Your Organization
    1. How to Get Started
      1. Step 1. Assess your situation
      2. Step 2. Get buy-in for change from from your key stakeholders
      3. Step 3. Train your stakeholders how to contribute
      4. Step 4. Start small and work incrementally
      5. Step 5. Evaluate your results and align on next steps
      6. Step 6. Keep relaunching
    2. Postscript
  15. Index
  16. About the Authors

Product information

  • Title: Product Roadmaps Relaunched
  • Author(s): C. Todd Lombardo, Bruce McCarthy, Evan Ryan, Michael Connors
  • Release date: October 2017
  • Publisher(s): O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  • ISBN: 9781491971673